Meet the Runner: Lizzy Handschy

Lizzy at 2015 Go! St. Louis MarathonLizzy finished second at the GO! St. Louis Marathon with a time of 2:57:04, which was her debut at the marathon distance! In Lizzy’s words …

How did you get started running?
I have known since I was in elementary school that I wanted to run marathons. When I was a freshman in high school I decided to train for a half marathon. My parents were great and humored me in my crazy endeavor. I got a few weeks into training before a friend convinced me to join the track team. I’ve been a part of the Big River family from the beginning of my running career. I went to Rockwood Summit High School and Matt Helbig, owner of Big River, was one of the distance coaches. After graduating from Rockwood Summit in 2010, I went on to run at Washington University in St. Louis and graduated in 2014.

Have any favorite running moments or highlights?
My favorite running moments are the 2013 Division III Cross Country Midwest Regionals and Division III Cross Country National Championships. I was battling injuries, for the first time ever, during cross country during my senior year. For part of the season I wasn’t sure if I was going to be healthy enough to run cross country, let alone be fit enough to race in our top 7. Just being able to race and feeling fit were amazing and being able to represent my teammates was out of this world. If you weren’t aware, Washington University is known for having the best fans in all of NCAA Cross Country and running through a sea of green and red was the most fun I’d ever had during a race.

What is your favorite race?
My favorite race I’ve run was The Skippo! Trail running is the best!

What is your typical week of training like?
My average weekly mileage leading up to GO! was probably 85 miles a week. I cycled through mileage so I had weeks that were lower and some that were higher. The highest I got up to was 100! I did most of my mileage in singles (one run a day), only doubling a maximum of twice a week. I did a Sunday long run, a long marathon pace tempo, usually on Wednesdays, and a race or another long marathon pace tempo on Saturday.

What advice would you give new runners?
Run (or walk) everyday, even if it is a short run, until running is like brushing your teeth; you feel weird if you don’t do it!

What is your favorite guilty pleasure food to reward yourself after a run/race?
ICE CREAM! In fact, I write an ice cream blog with my sister. Check it out here!

When and where is your next big race?
Probably the Boston Marathon! I haven’t officially decided yet, but seeing everyone post stuff on social media about it has gotten me really excited.

What do you love most about the St. Louis running community?
Everybody knows everybody, which makes it super easy to make new friends. Although I don’t live in St. Louis this year, I did a lot of my long runs with the Big River Training Team. I made a lot of great friends in that group, including Andrea. Once you start making friends in the St. Louis running community you will quickly make more and more since the community is so tight knit. It has really been great to experience the St. Louis running scene in my first year of post-collegiate running.

Gear by Lizzy:

Training and racing shoe: Nike Free 3.0

Favorite Running Apparel: Janji (an apparel line founded by Wash U grads that funds clean water projects around the world – available at Big River!)

Can’t run without: A watch. I’ve never been one of those runners that can just run for fun without knowing how far or long I’ve run. Although I do envy those people!